« PreviousContinue »
presented at best with nothing beyond a wild scene: which can only be relished by being contrasted with soft and beautiful ones. D'Anville considered Rajemal as being seated at the head of the Delta of the Ganges : but it is more than 30 miles above it.
Dacca is situated in the eastern quarter of Bengal, and beyond the principal stream of the Ganges, although a very capital branch of it runs under it. Few situations are better calculated for an inland emporium of trade, than this; as the Dacca river communicates with all the other inland navigations; and that not by a circuitous, but by a direct communication : as may be seen by the plan of its environs, in the Bengal Atlas. It succeeded Sonergong, as the provincial capital of this quarter ; and is the third city of Bengal, in point of extent and population. It has a vast trade in muslins; and manufactures the most delicate ones, among those that are so much fought after in Europe : and the cotton is produced within the province. Dacca has in its turn been the capital of Bengal: and that within the present century.
There are the remains of a very strong
fortress in it; and within these few years there was near it, a cannon of extraordinary weight and dimensions * : but it has since fallen into the river, together with the bank on which it rested.
Dacca is situated about 100 miles above the mouth of the Ganges, and 180 by the road from Calcutta. The country round it lying łow, and being always covered with verdure during the dry months,
* As it may gratify the curiosity of some of my readers, I have here inserted the dimensions and weight of this gun. I took the measures very carefully throughout, and calculated each part separately. It was made of hammered iron ; it being an immense tube formed of 14 bars, with rings of 2 or 3 inches wide driven over them, and hammered down into a smooth furface ; fo that its appearance was equal to that of the best executed piece of brass ordnance, although its proportions were faulty. Whole length
22 feet 10 inches.
35 The gun contained 234,413 cubic inches of wrought iron : and consequently weighed 64,814 pounds avoirdupoize : or about the weight of elevén 32 pounders. Weight of an iron Shot for the gun 465 pounds.
it is not subject to such violent heats as Moorshedabad, Patna, and other places.
Patna is the chief city of Bahar, and is a very extensive and po. pulous city, built along the southern bank of the Ganges, about 400 miles from Calcutta, and 500 from the mouth of the river, Having been often the seat of war, it is fortified in the Indian man, ner with a wall and a small citadel. It is a place of very considerable trade. Most of the saltpetre imported by the East India Com. pany, is manufactured within the province of Bahar. It is a very ancient city; and probably its modern name may be derived from Pataliputra, or Patel poot-her ; which we have fuppofed above to be the ancient Palibothra,
Benares is the chief city of the district commonly known by that name (and which consists of the circars of Benares, Jionpour, Chunar, and Gazypour) but is more celebrated as the ancient seat of Braminical learning, than on any other account ; although it bo a fine city, and very rich and populous, and the most compactly built of any. It is built along the north bank of the Ganges, and is distant from Calcutta, by the road, about 460 miles. Its ancient name was Kasi: but there are no notices concerning it, in the works of the ancient geographers. I think, if it had exiited during the time of the Syrian Ambassadors, Pliny would have noticed it, as he has done Methora (Matura) and Clifobara, which lay near the Jumna river.
Allahabad is seated at the point of confluence of the two great rivers Ganges and Jumna, and fucceeded to Piyaug. Acbar found- . ed the present city, which he intended as a place of arms, as its situation is very important both as it respects the navigation of the two rivers, and the country of the Doab, behind it. Allahabad is about 820 miles above the mouth of the Ganges, and 5j0 by land from Calcutta. It belongs to the Nabob of Oude, but its fortifications will hardly resist the battering of a field piece.
Lucknow is the present capital of Oude, having superseded the Jate capital Fyzabad, on the occasion of the Rohilla and other conquests; which left it rather in a corner of the kingdom, as it is now constituted, and in that corner the farthest removed from the scene of business. It is a very ancient city, and moderately extensive : but after the short account given above of the nature of the ordinary buildings, a city may very suddenly be augmented on its becoming a royal residence: and Fyzabad of course
of course may have declined. A small river, named the Goomty, runs under Lucknow, and communicates with the Ganges; but this last river is at least 43
miles to the S W of Lucknow. With respect to Calcutta, it is distant by the nearest road, 650 miles; and about 280 from Delhi. All is one vast plain from Lucknow to the mouth of the Ganges.
Fyzabad lies on the river Gogra, a very large river from Thibet, and is situated about 80 miles to the eastward of Lucknow, and 560 from Calcutta. It is a very large city, and nearly adjoining to it, is the very ancient city of Oude or Ajudiah. Fyzabad was the capital of the Nabob of Oude, till within these few years ; but it was an inconvenient situation, even before the Rohilla conquest.
Jionpour is a small city on the Goomty river, about 40 miles to the N W of Benares, and in the road from that city to Fyzabad.
Corah, or Corah-Jehenabad is a sinall city in the Doab or country between the two rivers Ganges and Jumnah. Both this city and Jionpour, are within the Nabob of Oude's dominions.
Bereilly is the capital of Rohilcund, which was added to the dominions of Oude, in the year 1774. It is but a small city and situated about half way between Lucknow and Delhi.
The city of Agra *, as I have said before, is situated at the western extremity of the tract under discussion; and on the south bank of the Jumna river, which is very feldom fordable. This
Latitude 27° 15', longitude 78° 29' by Claud Boudier : 78° 28' in the map.
city appears to have been during the late century, and in the beginning of the present, the .nost splendid of all the Indian cities; and at this time exhibits the most magnificent ruins. About the 1566, the Emperor Acbar, liking its situation, made it his capi. tal, and gave his name to it: since which, it is often named Acbarabad. It was then a small fortified town; but it soon sprung up to an extensive well built city, regularly fortified according to the Indian method, and with a fine citadel of red free-stone. Perhaps it has seldom happened, that a city of such great extent and magnificence has declined so rapidly. If Ptolemy, by Agara, meant Agra, it is certainly a place of great antiquity ; but he has not placed Agara in the situation where we should look for Agra. Biana or Baniana seems to have immediately preceded it, as the capital of the province now called Agra, and which was originally included in the kingdom of Canoge.
SE C T I O N III.
The Tract occupied by the Course of the River Indus and
its principal Branches : with the adjacent Countries on the South and East, as far as the Cities of AGRA, and AGIMERE ; and the River PUDDAR.
HIS part comprehends in general the foubahs or provinces
of Lahore, Moultan, and Sindy; with the northern parts of Agimere, and the western parts of Agra and Delhi: and is about 700 B. miles in length from N E to SW; and from 550 to 350 in width. It is bounded on the east by Mount Sewalic, and by an imaginary line drawn from Hurdwar to Agra; on the fouth by the great road leading from Agra to Agimere, and by the river Puddar ; on the west by the Arabian sea, and Persia; and on the north by Cabul and Cashmere.
Delhi, the nominal capital of Hindooftan at present, and the actual capital during the greatest part of the time since the Mohamedan conquest, has its position determined by observations of latitude and longitude ; which observations accord both with the maps, and with the popular estimation of its distance, from the nearest points in the surveyed tract, mentioned in the last section.
We first hear of Delhi, as the capital of Hindooftan, about the year 1200.
It is reported to have been founded by Delu *, about 300 years before our æra ; and I believe should properly be written
Ferishta. The Ayin Acbarce says that the ancient name of Delhi, was Inderput.